Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


First Advisor

Allison M.J. Reisbig

Date of this Version


Document Type



Hermes, H. A. (2017). How Discordant HSV Status Impacts Dyadic Relationship: A Grounded Theory Study. Lincoln, NE


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Under the Supervision of Professor Allison M. J. Reisbig. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2017

Copyright (c) 2017 Haley Ann Hermes


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2008 that there were an estimated 110 million sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among men and women with an estimated 19.7 million new cases every year in the United States (CDC, 2015). Having an STD is associated with negative individual and relational consequences (Beckerman, 2002; Brentjens, Yeung-Yue, Lee, & Tyring, 2003; Drob, Loemer & Lifshultz, 1986; Mark, Gilbert & Nanda, 2009). The combination of the high prevalence of STDs and the associated relational distress makes it likely that working with couples affected by STDs is a common experience for individual and couples therapists. The literature base supporting clinical best practices in working with individuals and couples affected by STDs is highly limited. This study used a constructivist grounded theory approach to develop an understanding of common difficulties, resiliency, and resources available to couples with discordant HSV status. The goal of this research is to inform clinical best practices for working with couples impacted by HSV, specifically, and STDs, generally.

Advisor: Allison M. J. Reisbig